Robredo remains unfazed by online bashing, electoral protest

Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo (File Photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna — Vice President Leni Robredo remains unfazed by the online bashing she has been getting and the electoral protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., saying she will just continue her work to help poor Filipinos.

In a forum at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños on Friday, Robredo talked about her engagement with poor communities through what she called “tsinelas leadership,” a reference to grassroots approach to governance that her late husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, had popularized.

“We need a government that truly makes an effort to listen, especially to those who are voiceless and powerless,” she said. “This is why I devoted nearly my entire career to strengthening communities at the grassroots.”

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“The tragedy is that, when people have been poor and left out of the decision-making process for so long, they no longer seek empowerment,” she said. “IInstead, they seek saviors who will give them what they need.”

A student asked for her reaction to the barrage of online bashing that she had been getting from supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The people who [we] talk to know nothing about what is happening on Facebook,” she said. “They do not care about the arguments on Facebook because what they care about is what they will eat every day. When [we] talk to them, the bashing doesn’t matter anymore.”

“Why would I spend time on that when there are people … who have no one to rely on but us?” she added.

On the electoral protest filed by Marcos, son of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., Robredo said: “The election is over. I think he knows that he did not win … but the desire to return to power, that is what is sad.”

“One of the reasons I got convinced to run was because of an impending Marcos return,” she said. /atm

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